Nook Media, the new joint-venture in e-books, tablets, e-readers and digital content from Barnes & Noble and Micorosoft, has gotten a new backer: The world's largest publishing company Pearson, known for its textbooks, is investing $89.5 million for a five percent stake in the partnership, Pearson announced Friday.
Pearson's CEO of North America William Ethridge said that the move was "another example of our strategy of making our content and services broadly available to students and faculty through a wide range of distribution partners." Pearson makes a range of digital digital textbooks for Apple's iPad, but its Penguin fiction publishing subsidiary was sued by the Justice Department for alleged antitrust in cahoots with Apple and Penguin recently agreed to a settlement that bars it from entering into future collaborations for a time.
Pearson noted that it could elect to increase its stake to 10 percent in Nook Media if it so chooses to buy more equity later. Microsoft previously invested $300 million in the venture, and with Pearson getting into the game, its stake falls from 17.6 to 16.8. Barnes & Noble's controlling stake falls from over 80 percent to 78.2 percent.